October 20, 2020

Cayman Islands Under 20 Women Off to a Winning Start: Debutants shine in Florida


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Courtisha Ebanks was a safe pair of hands in goal for Cayman.

The Cayman Islands Under 20 National Programme set off on the right foot as they prepare for two upcoming Under 20 World Cup Qualifiers that will take place in Suriname this coming week.  The Women’s team flew out to Miami, FL to prepare as they hosted an International Friendly with the Bahamas National Team.

Head Coach Eric Dobranski and Women’s Technical Director Thiago Cunha handed International debuts to seven young Caymanian women in this match. The list of debutants included Brittany Bodden, Giselle Johnson, Jessica Ebanks, Brittni Ebanks, Kimberly Rivers, Nessah Godet and Janel Ebanks. All of these girls played an instrumental part in the win against the Bahamas. Women’s Techinical Director Thiago Cunha said “I am very proud to see these young girls progress. All of them have been with me from the start and to see them make their full international debut for the Cayman Islands is a special thing for me. They have grown as people and as football players and they deserve to be out there. Janel Ebanks is only 14 years old and was playing against bigger, stronger and more experienced girls but she held her own and battled well, it was great to see”.

14 year old Janel Ebanks (Number 2) comes on for her international debut

Cayman started the game brightly and dominated possession during the first half creating a number of early chances. The Bahamas National Team defense held up until the 22nd minute when experienced midfielder Briana Hydes chipped through a perfectly weighted pass that cut the Bahamian defense in half and allowed Kimberly Rivers to net a goal on her full international debut. Rivers didn’t break her stride as she broke through and finished first time in the bottom right hand corner giving the keeper no chance.

Cayman’s defense was the driving force throughout the game; Tacita Berry constantly broke down any attacks that looked likely to turn into any sort of opportunity for the Bahamas. Berry, who is only 16, was making her 10th International Cap for her Country and looked solid; she played with poise and confidence throughout the entire 90 minutes. Jessica Ebanks also put up a great defensive display for Cayman, Ebanks distribution from the back and set up everything Cayman had to offer going forward, Ebanks linked well with Briana Hydes who was controlling the entire Midfield.

As the second half got under way the Cayman defense held strong as the Bahamas went forward in numbers to look for an equalising goal. This left holes in the Bahamas defense and Briana Hydes was exploiting them, her range of passing was excellent as she created a number of chances going forward. On the 57th minute, Hydes got her second assist of the game as she turned out of trouble and made space for herself to deliver another perfectly weighted pass that once again split the defense of the Bahamas. This time Jetena Bodden broke through and slotted her first of the game and Cayman’s second.

Cayman Islands Under 20 National Team

Cayman could have and should have won by more as they held a 17 to 6 shot advantage over the Bahamas. Shanelle Frederick was unlucky not to get on the score sheet, as she was a constant threat in attack.

The Cayman Islands Under 20 National Programme continue their preparation in Miami, Florida as they face Coral Springs Sports Club in their final warm up game before they head to Suriname via Trinidad and Tobago for two World Cup Qualifier games. In Suriname, they will face the hosts on Tuesday October 18, 2011 and Trinidad and Tobago on Thursday October 20, 2011.

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